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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver

College of Architecture & Planning
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M LA

College of Architecture + Planning


THE ​DEGREE

We deliver a fully accredited Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) for first professional degree students and post-professional students (those already holding a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture or Bachelor of Architecture degree). Our program balances theory and practice, and emphasizes design to support human well-being and environmental balance. We educate landscape architects to lead the design and planning process.

The MLA curriculum revolves around a sequence of design studios, supported by core content classes and a variety of seminar courses. The curriculum fosters an ethic of responsibility grounded in natural systems and processes and an understanding of cultural and community values. Our educational program operates fluidly in both local and global contexts and at a variety of scales. Students learn skills working on relevant urban and rural projects. Studios and courses engage current issues, define future trends, and explore the role of landscape architecture in a rapidly changing world. Throughout the program, our students learn and apply design and planning skills that use technologies and design approaches to enhance community, foster equity, remediate environmental balance, conserve and regenerate resources, and create places that hold value for current and future generations.

Denver’s vibrant professional design and planning community supports our students through guest lectures and participation in design reviews, internships and mentor programs, and opportunities to visit offices and meet practitioners and leaders in our field.


CAREER PATHS OF GRADUATES

Our MLA alumni work in positions and industries ranging from public agencies to private firms and non-profit groups. Employers include the National Park Service and municipal parks and planning departments in metro Denver and Colorado’s mountain communities. Graduates also enter positions with respected local design firms such as Civitas, Inc., and Wenk Associates, as well as nationally based firms such as Hargreaves Associates, AECOM, Design Workshop, OLIN, and Raymond Jungles. Several alumni are principals and senior associates in these prominent firms. Alumni also joined faculty at respected landscape architecture programs across the country, including Colorado State, Iowa State, and Kansas State universities. Finally, innovative and entrepreneurial students have started their own landscape architecture and design build companies, or have used their design skills to create jobs that suit their unique passions. 


SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

Students have extensive opportunities for civic engagement, including paid internships at the college’s Colorado Center for Community Development (CCCD) and the Learning Landscapes program whose mission is to build public places that support the well-being of children through increased exercise, access to open space and community gathering places, experiencing and working in gardens, and more. At 96 schoolyards and counting, Learning Landscapes has provided Denver's children with great places to play. 

The practice of landscape architecture is now global, and this department is a leader in providing international study opportunities.

  • Dual degree with Tongji University in Shanghai, China. This prestigious program is unique for MLA students in the United States. Selected MLA students from CU Denver spend two semesters at Tongji University and MLA students from Tongji spend two semesters at CU Denver in a direct one-to-one student exchange. Students who participate in the program take rigorous courses, write a thesis, and participate in an internship experience; they graduate with MLA degrees from both CU Denver and Tongji University and enter the workforce with valuable international experience and connections. 

  • ​Opportunities to develop international partnerships with our diverse body of international and domestic students and travel study courses offered annually. 

  • Our students engage in research with faculty and on their own through independent studies and thesis.  They have presented at local, national and international conferences and symposia such as the National Park Service Western Region CESU Conference, Environmental Design Research Association, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, and International Green Roof Conference.

  • R O O T is the student run landscape architecture journal. We have published four volumes since its inception, and it received an honorable mention in the national competition for the Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals in 2011.

  • Student organizations include our Student Chapter​ of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA), the Urban Horticulture Club​, and Sigma Lambda Alpha, the landscape architecture national honor society.​

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